When looking for the best drones for kids, a parent needs to do quite some research to make things safe, make sure it’s legal and fun for everyone.
Since nobody got time for so much confusion, I made this article especially tailored for those of you who want to learn everything there is to know and make a decision without reading anything else.
Funny thing is that usually, contrary to popular belief, the cheaper smaller drones are harder to pilot compared to the more expensive ones that come with sensors and GPS and can simply float without even touching the remote.
Typical toy drones can be easily blown away by wind and need constant adjustment from the pilot (in this case probably your kids). However, this makes it a great platform to learn how to fly for beginners and kids alike.
What you’ll usually see is that most of them have 4 rotors, that’s why they’re called quadcopters, but some can come with 3 and others with up to 6.
There are some important specs you should look for in a quadcopter for children:
Propeller Guards - I personally look for an entire cage all around the drone propellers that protects both the kids from the propellers themselves as well as allowing the drones to hit the walls indoors and keep flying. This will save you a lot of props in time from destruction and help the boys/girls fly for longer without crashing.
Durability - Just like some toys seem to break after one day of use and others seem to last a lifetime, the same applies to toy drones. While these are more prone to being destroyed because of their complexity, the drones I’ll recommend have proven from personal trials that are more durable than other similar ones.
Battery Life - There’s something you’ll notice with small toy drones, and that is that the battery life is short and usually directly proportional to the size of the quadcopter. At the end, I’ll cover some drones that have longer battery life.
Camera - While you shouldn't expect anything groundbreaking from toy drone cameras, some are actually pretty good to explore the house from above or the neighborhood or take some selfies. I’ll also cover some really capable camera drones that can be operated by kids on this list, but keep in mind that the better the camera and stabilization, the more expensive the package.
In this section we take a look at the drones I recommend for each age range and for different uses. I showcase each one's speciality and what it is best at so you know what you pick considering your special requirements.
The lowest age I recommend kids to start flying drones is 6 years old. This is the drone on this list that requires basically no skill in flight as it doesn’t have a controller, but it’s instead hand-operated.
What I mean by that is that it has some sensors all around and it moves in the direction opposite to where you would hold your hand.
This is pretty much like playing ball, but with a drone, and you don’t even have to touch it.
It’s a lot of fun, especially if you get two of these and have your kid play with his friends, he’ll become in no time the coolest in the group and he’ll love it for sure.
What’s more, this can actually be fun for adults too, but let’s pretend we get it for our kids.
The small quadcopter is protected by a 360 degree frame all around it so I consider it also one of the safest on this list too.
Another not so typical drone is controlled by hand gestures, but this time requires quite a bit more skill to play with it.
I would recommend this as a drone for 7 year olds and up since it does require some more precision and dexterity to learn how to fly it.
Compared to a typical quadcopter that comes with controlling sticks, this one has a gyroscope remote that you hold in one hand and tilt in the directions you want the drone to go. It’s much more intuitive to fly than a regular drone, but it won’t teach your kid how to step up to a bigger drone when he grows up.
Overall a great choice for any kid!
Funny enough I had this star wars drone for myself to review on my youtube channel and you can see from the first few frames that kids simply love it!
I’m a Star Wars fan so that’s why I got it but I was completely surprised how great quality it is for the amount of money you pay for it.
It’s not an indoor quadcopter, and it’s not necessarily easy to fly, but it comes with some really great details and builds quality that makes it something your kid can keep on the desk permanently.
The controller also makes sounds when the drone lands or launches in the air and tells you when it has a low battery. The controller itself is one of the highest quality ones I’ve flown at this price.
The drones come with small details like the Stormtrooper on the top of his drone bike coming off. It also comes with prop guard protection, but I wouldn’t necessarily consider it the safest drone to fly indoors, so I recommend you try it outdoors first.
It’s a great flyer overall and one of the best toy ones on this list.
The Potensic A20 made it as one of my best beginner drones, and frankly, it’s also amazing for kids as their first drone.
It’s a very simple, but durable quadcopter that has well-made prop guards, so it can be crashed into the walls and it usually keeps flying still.
One of the best things about it is that it can fly both indoors as well as outdoors, considering there’s no strong wind involved.
It comes in the package with a few batteries that are interchangeable, and that means it has an improved flight time of about 20 minutes in total, which is really good for a kid to have his fun time, instead of playing with just one battery and not being enough.
As you can see from the photos, this drone has more than just standard prop guards, it’s protected all around!
This makes it one of the safest and smallest drones on this list, perfect especially for indoor flight.
Don’t worry, it can still do flips and it’s pretty nimble even with the cage.
It made it on my list of the best nano drones as it’s quite small (including the transmitter).
Just like the Potensic A20, it comes with additional spare batteries in the package, but this one is too small to fly outdoors in wind.
It comes with headless mode, altitude hold and 3 speed levels, which makes it perfect for learning from beginner level to more advanced.
The altitude hold keeps the drone steady at a certain level in the air (thanks to a barometer pressure sensor inside).
The Syma x9 works just like you think it does, it’s both a car as well as a drone.
I don’t think I need to tell you how cool that is for an 8-year-old kid (up to 50 lol).
Both the car mode as well as the drone mode have 2-speed modes.
It comes with 2 batteries in the package, which is great and the average battery life is between 10 and 15 minutes (since it takes more battery power to fly in drone mode than drive-in car mode).
What’s more, this can do flips in drone mode!
It’s an overall very fun concept with good reviews that will get your kid super excited for sure!
This is by far the best camera drone you can get for under $100 as the footage is stabilized electronically and takes amazing photos. I would actually consider it a selfie drone at this point.
It’s also great for kids to learn how to fly since it has bottom facing sensors and a sonar that keeps it very steady in the air, even if they take their hands off the controls.
This can also be upgraded later to a VR drone or simply get a bluetooth controller (since by default it can only be controlled with the phone).
The app is quite good, and when you want to control it, two joysticks appear on the screen that you can move around. At the same time the live feed from the camera can be seen on the screen behind.
It comes with quite a few flight modes including circle and dronie, which can be quite fun to play with.
While it comes with prop guards in the package, they’re not really the most protective, but still, help if you fly it indoors.
It’s also one of the best drones of this size in terms of battery life, reaching up to 12 minutes with one battery, but not coming with additional ones in the package. The typical battery life for drones in this price range and size is somewhere around 6-8 minutes.
I also personally had quite some fun with the Parrot Mambo so can confirm that it’s very fun including for adults.
It has a lego-like mechanism on top and bottom where you can fix other accessories, like an FPV camera, a cannon that shoots tiny plastic balls and a claw that can grab stuff.
Having a drone that can shoot tiny balls can be heaps of fun for any kid, while the claw can be used to transport lightweight objects or deliver messages on a piece of paper.
I recommend getting this drone for playing more advanced and creative games, that’s why I recommend getting it for older kids or yourself even.
Just like the Tello, it also has bottom facing sensors
Since this is my main drone currently I can’t recommend it enough, especially since it’s so easy to fly it can be a great platform for any teenager to learn to fly on.
The super stable GPS stability and bottom sensors make it very easy to learn how to fly on and the 10 km range and 31 minute battery life are some outstanding specs that make it one of the best drones for the price.
The biggest thing about this drone is that it’s under 250 grams, which actually makes it legal to fly without registration in most countries (including US).
While very tiny and foldable, it can handle wind extremely well, so it’s built for outdoors, not indoors flight.
The big difference with this one is that there is no lag between the drone movement and what you see on the screen, and you can later get FPV goggles to fly it too.
The footage you can record on a micro SD card is quite decent and it’s very fun to fly overall.
Hubsan is one of the biggest drone manufacturers around and it shows in the build quality, this being one of those legendary drones that are very easy to recommend to anyone.
It can also have mounted a set of prop guards for additional protection.
In this section, we're going to look at the legislation a bit and into the frequently asked questions that parents worry about.
Toy drones and the FAA have a weird connection, as the rules say that weight is all that matters. That means that even if it’s a toy quadcopter if it’s over 250 grams it should be registered to the FAA.
Fortunately, I took that into account and all the drones on the list are indeed under that weight limit.
Otherwise, I recommend you check the list with the drone laws in every country.
Flying responsibly means to not fly over large crowds of people or close to other people's property that can be damaged. Using your common sense can keep you from a lot of trouble.
Most toy drone batteries last somewhere between 5 and 15 minutes at most. The average being somewhere at 7 minutes.
This is mainly because toy drones tend to be smaller in size, and that’s associated with less time in the air… because of physics.
Yes, 10 year olds can fly drones quite easily, especially considering how adapted they are to technology these days.
Yes, 12 year olds can fly drones, and even more complex camera ones at that. Buying a GPS drone for a 12 year old would actually make more sense.
I recommend buying a drone for your kid only if he’s over 6 years old. If you follow the list guide
When looking for the best drones for kids there’s no shortage of toy drones, but make sure that you’re not simply just buying gimmicks, instead, make sure it’s safe and the flight complexity fits with the kid's age.